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Alphabet Falls on Concern About Rising Google Traffic Costs

  • Search giant’s biggest sources of sales growth are expensive
  • CFO Porat targets total profit growth, rather than margins

Alphabet Inc. shares fell after second-quarter results resurfaced a worrying trend: The company’s costs are rising as it spends more to expand Google’s newer, fastest-growing advertising businesses.

The company reported sales, minus partner payouts, were $20.92 billion, in line with analysts’ consensus forecasts, but below some more bullish expectations. Estimates ranged from $20.55 billion to $21.61 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profit was also hammered by a record antitrust fine from the European Union.

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Bloomberg’s Emily Chang reports on Alphabet earnings and her...